The Playwriting Concentration

The MFA playwriting program embraces diverse voices and aesthetics. There are many ways to write a great play, exemplified by our faculty, which includes Tony©, Pulitzer, and Obie Award winners such as Charles Mee, Lynn Nottage, and David Henry Hwang. This program seeks to help each student find their own unique and idiosyncratic voice, and help each play grow into the best version of itself.

We take a practical approach to preparing graduates for careers as dramatists, by offering courses and experience in the full range of dramatic writing, including television, film, and musical theatre, under the guidance of instructors like Tony© Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori and iconic TV showrunner Matt Williams.

Because we believe playwrights need to hear their work and see it staged, two years of reading and critiquing student work are supplemented by workshop productions. The third year includes professional development led by the concentration head, with each student receiving a full production of their thesis play, mentored by their favorite dramatist or other theatre professional.

This program is large enough to offer a wide range of courses, and small enough for each writer to gain the personal attention necessary to facilitate their all-important artistic growth.

Notable Alumni

Beau Willimon '03, House of Cards, Farragut North
Ming Peiffer '16, Usual Girls 
Jocelyn Bioh '08, School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play 
Celine Song '14, Endlings 
Alix Sobler '16, Hindsight
David Wiener '01, Fear the Walking Dead
Raquel Almazan '15, La Paloma Prisoner
Matthew Barbot '17, El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom

Students in a classroom
MFA Playwrights Blog at Columbia University

Learn more about Columbia Playwrights